tv Newsmakers CSPAN September 9, 2012 10:00am-10:30am EDT
what does that mean? >> it means we're headed in the right direction, but what it means emphatically is the republicans should have passed the president's jobs bill. is the only jobs bill that is out there. it puts 2.1 billion people -- 2.1 million people back to work. what we ought to do is take the time -- because we hear repeatedly the republicans talk about the number of people that are unemployed. it just seems that their policies need to be geared towards seeing the president's failure rather than seeing the nation's 68. that should be the order of business. frankly, we should really get the jobs bill done. >> go ahead. >> congressman, it has been 3 1/2, almost four years president obama has been in office.
, many years do you expect voters to give him to bring the economy back to where was before the financial crisis? >> how many years do you think it will take before the senate will reform cloture votes and the 497 bills that -- while we were in the majority -- they made sure did not get to the floor? and the obstruction of the house, as i said earlier. i think the public gets it. i think this president has demonstrated time and again. past president clinton did a very good job of outlining how he has reached out to the other side. also, pointing out how difficult the situation they found themselves in. and the rejection of the path we find ourselves on now. president clinton summed it up very well. look at the job creation on behalf of president obama and
the direction he has as going in, and then look at the direction the republicans would take us. they want to go backwards. even the current house democrats in terms of job creation -- zero. >> congressman, your speech really dwelled a lot on the explicit or implicit promises of social security and medicare. but everyone acknowledges the demographics of this country are changing. so, how do you maintain that promise? and when might we actually see a democratic plan to maintain the solvency of medicare for the long haul, understanding that the affordable care act keeps it solvent for the short-term. but going further, when do we see a democratic plan? >> let's start with that. i think that is an important
point. you are right. affordable care act takes it out for an additional eight years. under the romney plan, it would be a change as we know it by 2016. again, i think president clinton outlined that extraordinarily well. i want to dwell on this for just a moment. i think that not only as a fact for medicare but also medicaid and what that means to our seniors and those who are reliance on medicare and impacted by the severe medicaid cuts because of their need for nursing homes. in my speech, i spoke directly about my mother. i know how people have paid for this already and how important this is an to the impact on some many families across this country. this is personal. this is not a matter of statistics. this is not a matter of
spreadsheet or data. this is a real people. i can see my neighbors and friends and relatives going through similar situations. this is personal. now, let's look at the reuters report that came out more than three years ago now and subsequently enhanced -- it says, look. when you are at 16% of gross domestic product costs for health care, should we start drawing down from medical devices? or should we begin with beneficiaries? it is personal. democrats will make short -- make sure that we get away with all of those specific problems, including repayments, including everything with regard to inefficiencies that exist, and most notably in reuters' follow-
up report, fraud, abuse, and waste. which has superseded -- medicare fraud that is -- drug abuse and prostitution. pretty remarkable. that is where we should start. we should not be talking about taking benefits away from people for we have a system. the closest system in the world to us is switzerland which is 10% of gross domestic product for health care and they have ubiquitous health care. we have an opportunity -- let me finish on this. we have an opportunity. i am in a very insurance- oriented state. why not work together? this is a problem for voters and the public. 1 not work together to take the best of both worlds? hmm, this is something mr. romney did in massachusetts that now they apparently deny. is something that makes the solvency of medicare blogger.
make sure that we have a plan that will take care of those who are most in need. >> what is the chance of a lame duck session of congress, the plan like this could come together that would keep us from going over the fiscal cliff and would buoy the economy by just demonstrating cooperation in washington? >> again, i've would say that we should stay there before we go home. with respect, and this is not with any heavy thinking here, but when you talk about job creation and deficit reduction, if we take unemployment under 7%, we know that that will take care of a third of the deficit. there is no single larger
bullet. think about where we will be long term. we can do that. we have seen the nuggets of a plan that has been out there -- whether it is the minute she -- domenici, simpson-bowles. van hollen. we should be staying in congress until we put everybody back to work and resolve all lot of these artificial issues like the debt ceiling, something naira -- neither president reagan, president bush the younger, president clinton, or george w. bush had to deal with because congress understood implicitly that that was an important thing to do to make sure we honored our debt and had very little to do with the current debt. we saw this last summer. that has got to be avoided.
i believe -- >> on that point -- >> i believe we will come together during this lame duck session because they recognize the magnitude of this. some will be leaving congress. some will be leaving because they are going to retire. others in voluntarily. i hope they understand the magnitude of what we're dealing with here. >> patty murray indicated that democrats are willing to go off the fiscal cliff to get republicans to been on raising taxes. is that your position as congress is scheduled to come back? >> i can understand why patty said that in frustration. our position continues today let's work together. let's demonstrate to the american people -- >> when you say let's work together, what are democrats going to can see? what are they going to give up? >> we have put forward a plan.
we have put forward a budget. when the other side says, even the presidential candidates say, listen, even if you a $10 of tax cuts for every $1 of revenue in come come up good to at least -- in come, could you least compromise on that? they say no. democrats are not going to design a plan on the backs of beneficiaries. we are not going to stand by and see more tax cuts for billionaires' what people like my mother have to go without. is personal. that is not going to happen. we have an opportunity -- there is the framework of these plants. hey, give the senate credit. the at least -- led by dick durbin -- they said, all right, we know of compromise has to be done here. but we cannot seem to get the other guys to the table.
i would like to see that happen before the interim session. but right now it has been gridlock. let me be clear about that as well. you have seen the report and the book by thomas mann, ornstein and mann. clearly the obstructionist nature of what the republicans have done here is the prime cause of not moving forward and everyone else in the world who is unstable and would like to invest their money here -- all it requires is the government, in this case congress, working together. >> let me ask you a little bit about connecticut politics year. your colleague in the house, chris murphy, seems to be having real troubles in connecticut with his race to the senate. and mcmahon, who lost handily
two years ago, is doing very well. what is going on there, and what does chris murphy need to do to regain momentum in your state? >> well, as with chris murphy just last night. we were in north hartford. we had a lot of the convention. chris murphy has got to continue what he is doing. getting out there and getting his message out. when you come from a congressional seat and you already had $9 million drop against you and you are in the process of trying to raise money, the way that you have to push back is through a grass- roots, organize, field-oriented ever. chris is going to have to lose the money. he is never going to be able to beat mcmann. at the end of the day, the voters in connecticut will take a look at what is real here.
and they will also look at the top of the ticket, both with the romney-ryan plan and its impact on the state, and what president obama and chris murphy and his democratic colleagues are proposing here. but i think chris is going to do an extraordinary job. and listen. he is going to have to be able to match that money. he has indicated the senate is going to come in -- chuck schumer as indicated the senate is going to come in and help out. with the amount of money that is eing spent and super pac's, grassroots is important. chris murphy is an outstanding candidate and more importantly, he is an incredible legislature -- legislator. >> do you think the democratic
attacks on private equity, carried interest, banking in general are beginning to staiin in politics where some of the coffers inat fill the the past for democrats are turning away, helping now mitt romney? >> that could be a possibility. i think -- and i do not have any objective analysis -- but i will say this. i think what stings the american people is the understanding that in this current economic environment, it just simply is not fair that the middle class should pay more. the middle class should pay more while the wealthy have been on her, on bothered -- unhurt,
unbothered, and have skated through this hole in it -- economic downturn. there's this sense that government has got your back. having the president has made great strides. i think we are headed in the right direction. we have to make sure that we stop shipping jobs overseas. chris murphy's mean theme of his campaign -- main a theme of his campaign is making things here. he has done a great job of that with our industrial base in connecticut. there is a 4 to 1 ratio, meaning for every manufacturing jobs, there are four service sector jobs. that will continue to be our emphasis. we have made great steps. the joint strike. the tanker. those will involve the
industrial base here and in the state of connecticut, thanks in large part to the connecticut delegation and chris murphy. >> this is "newsmakers." our guest is john larson. also joining us -- jonathan strong and jonathan weisman. >> congressman, your the chair of the democratic caucus. at the end of this congress, you will be term-limited al. the you expect to have a leadership role in the next congress? >> hour and tighter focus -- our entire focus is winning back the majority. >> as you know, there are candidates running for vice chair. >> let me say the vice chairman position and the chairman position of our caucus -- there
is an excellent role. it is, as you point out, term- limited. most members, i daresay, and our caucus are focused on their reelection. your colleagues understand that you're running. but i will guarantee you that both jared and joe and barbara lee and others seeking positional all indicate the primary focus is to win the majority. >> will the house remain in republican control? >> as it stands today, and just listening to the reports that we have during this past convention week, we are right there. and we believe once we get a little bit of a sale to our back here -- sail to are back here.
re-taking 25 seats. there is nobody who works harder than nancy pelosi. jim cliburn, all of them. i think the feeling and the momentum is out there. especially, i think we have gotten a lot of wind in our sales based on the selection of paul ryan and based on the help we received. from underscoring the enormous threat that women feel not only with regard to their reproductive rights, but their economic opportunity. we have the wind at our sails. this week, listening to the president, former president clinton, and our first lady, we are coming together and we're coming out of the convention in charlotte united, focused, and taking it to the streets.
that is how we're going to take back the house and that is how we're going to retain the presidency and the united states senate. >> republicans are coming back at you in the wake of your attacks on the ryan plan and saying, no, it is the democrats that have rated medicare, taken $700 billion -- raided medicare, taken $700 billion from a. how much did that muddy the waters? >> how much more hypocritical can they be? how much more hypocritical can paul ryan be than to take a look at the very amount of money he uses in his own budget, yet doesn't put it back to restore medicare or how about seniors, but takes that money out of the budget altogether? let's be clear about what the president took that money for. and where that money came from. that money was excess money in
the plan. no senior has lost the benefit from what the president did. but hospitals have made sure that they are providing and are given incentives to make sure they are providing quality care, not just access to care. quality care. and the obsessive -- the excessive amounts of money were being paid to an industry that republicans said was going to be competitive and drive the costs down. drove up by 14%. a a r p understand this. everyone does. further, the party -- including mr. ryan, the author of the bill -- that was to privatize social security, privatize medicare, then comes out and says the democratic party is the -- the
democratic party, the party of social security, medicare, medicaid, and yes, obamacare, that we are trying to destroy it? i think the public and any objective fact checker -- i guess that does not matter much on the other side -- but any objective fact checker will understand, listen, we know what is on our side. >> to give the best speech of the democratic convention this week? >> i would have to say -- michelle obama. bill clinton. and just when you say how can anyone supersede that, barack obama. they obviously set the bar incredibly high. i think there was an array of people who spoke to our convention. they were just brilliant. castro was terrific.
we were very pleased with the momentum of the speeches. and there was a feeling in the room and outside the room in charlotte. i do not know whether we will get a bump or not, but whether we get a bump or not, what we have this enthusiasm and unity coming out of charlotte. >> how serious -- >> i was at a watch party your home in hartford last nine. of the enthusiasm with their. >> how serious is the rift over the platform fight over god and jerusalem? >> well, you know, every convention i have ever been sued, every platform, there are always rifts. it is minor. i think it was smart to respond immediately and step in and
indicate where he is. i think it is a minor thing and we should just move on. be more important thing is putting the country back to work and defending the values of the democratic party and the american people. and those are central to medicare, health care, and social security. there are people in the party that also wanted to talk about our national security, afghanistan, and standing up for trips, not only when they are there, but when they return home -- standing up for our troops, not only when they are there, but when they return home. joe biden could not have been stronger last night in his speech and his portrayal of what this administration has done. >> how big a wet blanket was the jobs report this morning on that momentum coming out of charlotte? >> well, listen, we are headed
in the right direction. you can look at it twas. obviously come everybody wishes more jobs were created. 90,000 jobs were created. the direction is headed the right way. instead of 8.3%, at 8.1%. i think the public hears this, but can we get through enough so that they understand that we are taking them one direction, or do they want to go back to the past? i think the president made that point very clear. and i think bill clinton made the point the night before. frankly, we did not make this point in 2009 and 2010. it was lined up for the republicans very well in their 33-page memo that said essentially if you block everything the democrats propose, if you stop them, if you and keep them from what they are doing, then they will own this economy.
they will forget about george w. bush. and that is what they have done. they have followed a game plan of obstruction. and yes, that may hurt the president, but how does it help the country? how does it help america? and what this president has done about putting this country above politics and putting the country back to work -- we will see when we get back whether the republicans will take or even extend the courtesy that would be extended to any president. i know how we work -- even though we disagreed with george w. bush, we work with the president. we did not deny him putting forth any piece of legislation. we may have voted against it, but we put it forward. in this congress, in this house of representatives, they will not even extend the courtesy of putting a jobs bill that creates 2 million jobs, by
independent sources, from going forward. why? because they would rather see obama fail then the nation's 60. >> just about 30 seconds. >> real quick on the jobs report -- worse than expected, and also the reason the percentage came down was because people dropped out of the work force. given those two things, is it really fair to say we're headed in the right direction from that number? >> 8.3% to 8.1%. i have no reason to doubt your word. is still a month of job creation. look at where we were in the past. i know there is a lot of progress for us to make. that is the challenge. that is the challenge. connecting with people who feel, yes, there has been progress, but it has not been the right kind of progress. but what is our goal?
we will look at that on monday, whether or not they will take up the jobs bill or continue down the road. they have blocked everything the president has put forward. they have not taken up his jobs initiative. how about going back and saying, you know what? we all agree. we all agree everyone should receive $215,000 in tax breaks. we all agree. whether you are a millionaire or middle-class. we agree everyone should have a $215,000 break. do you think we would be able to do that? come together and do that? i hope so. we will see what we can do. >> real quick before you go -- do you expect this progress to continue with the continuing resolution? >> i think so much depends on -- mr. boehner, i think, has acted in good faith several times. but he is the rug pulled out
from underneath him by the tea party caucus all the time. we will see if that remains so or not. >> congressman john larson, democrat from connecticut, joining us on "newsmakers." thank you so much. >> happy to be with you. >> we have just a few minutes with our guests -- jonathan weisman, what is the reality of the republicans working together in the congress? >> reality as there is going to be read it -- reality is there's going to be one order of business. stoppegap, get the continuing resolution going. there will be a lot of pressure to do the farm bill. i think republicans will be coming back with a ringing in their ears from all the yelling. nothing is going to happen. we have the election and the
lame duck session. >> jonathan strong, you have both sides blaming each other. where is the reality that? >> one of the things that is interesting is the congressman kept pointing to the president's jobs plan. it he is a more vocal advocate of that plan and president obama is at this point. last night in his speech, he did not include any major new plants or initiatives, despite the promise of creating 11 million new jobs without saying how we would get their. they are in a little bit of a top position where they want to say obama has done a good job with the economy, but the numbers are not their. you cannot look like you are out of touch. is a difficult place to pay. >> the congressman was encouraged by news he has heard from steve israel. can you talk about that? >> the view of the election i
your privately from democrats is pessimistic. much more pessimistic. many people can see to me there's no way the democrats will take it back. >> i totally disagree. i have been talking to a lot of personal friends who are involved in a lot of these, on the republican and democrat side. they really made you feel that the medicare attacks have really hurt republicans. the republicans have had to muddy the water coming at the democrats on medicare, but when you are fighting on medicare grounds, and republicans up told me this -- even if they fight to a draw on medicare, that is a wasted opportunity to be talking about the economy. there are a lot of numbers we have been seeing that do appear to be moving the democrats. this medicare fight does